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Overview

Reimagine society. Renew Jewish Life.

The Shmita Project is working to expand awareness about the biblical Sabbatical tradition, and to bring the values of this practice to life today to support healthier, more sustainable Jewish communities.

What is Shmita?

Commonly translated as the ‘Sabbatical Year,’ Shmita literally means ‘release.’ Of biblical origin, this is the final year of a shared calendar cycle, when land is left fallow, debts are forgiven, and a host of other agricultural and economic adjustments are made to ensure the maintenance of an equitable, just, and healthy society.  The questions about how Shmita actually worked – if it actually worked – are enormous. The possibilities for social change are thrilling.

The next Shmita year starts Rosh Hashana 2014. The Shmita Project invites you to explore the following questions: What might this Shmita year look like in a modern context? In Israel and beyond? And not just for farmers, but for businesses, for families, for communities, for each of us individually? How can we best prepare for it? And how might the wider Shmita cycle hold the key to approaching the economic, environmental and societal challenges we are facing today?

Countdown to Shmita

  • Learn more about the background, practices, and spiritual significance of the Shmita tradition, as well as its rich potential to transform our lives.
  • Join the Shmita Network if you’re interested in exploring how to incorporate the Shmita vision into the work of your own organization or community life.
  • Organize a Shmita-inspired event for your own local community, synagogue, farm, or school.

We hope this website will provide you an opportunity both to deepen your learning about Shmita, as well as support your own process to renew the Shmita tradition today.

Read more about the importance of thinking about Shmita today and the goals of the Shmita Project.

Want direct access to our latest resources, blog posts, and event updates? Send an email to shmitaproject@hazon.org to join our listserv.

Shmita Project Founding Partners